Culture Resource Centre

Cultural Competence Program: Culturally Diverse Business Unit

Cultural Competence Program –  Enhancing the Performance of a Multicultural Business Unit with staff from over 16 countries 

(2023) Information Technology Industry

Understanding the Challenge

The Client’s Business Unit employ approximately 60 people – including leadership team, technical professionals, and support staff from over 16 countries to bring together technical expertise, experience for a information technology project based in Perth.

The request is to assist in developing cultural competence: the cultural diversity in the multicultural team along with the recent pandemic, and virtual working  have had an impact on the relatedness between staff. A number of cultural challenges have occurred and the organisation wants to address the challenges both from a staff and a leadership perspective.

Functional team members in general share trust relationships, are not afraid of conflict, are commitment to the task, take accountability, have a solid focus on results which makes for effective and productive interactions in teams. Cultural diversity however, makes this much more complex as it brings cultural differences in behaviour, attiude, practices and expectations. Cultural differences can negatively influence the team and lead to absence of:

  • trust (lack of information sharing);
  • conflict (lack of openness);
  • comitment (lack of motivation);
  • accountability (lack of ownerships); and
  • results (goals are not achieved)

Cultural competence development helps people to consider cultural perspectives at work to overcome possible barriers and bias to interact inclusively, effectively and successfully in a multicultural environment.

We offer different cultural competence interventions tailored to the different target groups:

  • Cultural awareness: positioning culture and impact of culture at work
  • Cultural know-how to understand intercultural interactions
  • Intercultural skills for successful intercultural communication
  • Intercultural strategies to sellect and implement solutions
  • Cultural competencies to manage people effectively across cultures.

Three interventions:

  1. We designed and facilitated a Webinar for all team members
  2. We designed and facilitated Intercultural training for Team Leads, Leaders
  3. We desgined and faciltiated a Leadership workshop for Leadership team


1. Before the cultural competence program kicks off:

  1. The team is asked to complete a Training Needs Analysis to identify challenges, experiences, and expectations of staff.

2. During the webinar:

  1. Virtual Team Presentation (1.5-hour): Appreciating Cultural Diversity
  2. Positioning cultural differences with help of cultural awareness frameworks
  3. Participants self-assess the Communication type profiler and receive their profile during the webinar.

3. During the Intercultural Training sessions

  1. Virtual Team Leads and Leaders Intercultural Training (2.5-hour): Influencing and Leading Multicultural Teams
  2. Participants self-assess the Work practices profiler and receive their profile during the training
  3. Exploring and realigning culturally diverse work preferences to map and bridge the gaps for individuals and the team in general
  4. Participants complete Training Feedback Analysis and reports are shared with the organisation and the contact persons.

4. Before and During the Leadership Workshops

  1. Virtual Leadership Workshop (2.5-hour): Developing Cultural Competence to lead aross cultures
  2. Participants self-assess The Intercultural Readiness Check (prework) and receive their personal profile during the workshop
  3. Workshop that focus on Detection and Adaptation Strategies to integrate cultural differences



The Training Needs Analysis detects significant differences in cultural perceptions in the area of level of directness, sharing information, level of formality, showing emotions, handling disagreements, decision-making, and language and accents. 

These areas where incorporated in the webianr, the intercultural training and the leadership workshop.

The Training Feedback Analysis after the Intercultural Training (interventions 3):

Overall assessment of the training (objectives clearly defined, relevant topics, clear content, provided increased insight) by participants:
40% Very Good and 60% Excellent

Application of Learning (a few examples):

Review my working and communication style and the styles of those I work with to see if we can move towards more synergies between the team members.

I think that directing a multicultural view to some interactions I’ve had recently is a good thing. Also do more in the international collaboration space.

Improve communication – understand predominant styles and use them to effectively communicate. Recognise and appreciate unique perspectives, experiences and challenges of others.

I will be more aware of cultural differences in my dealings with staff and users (customers) and believe this will help my work

I tend to ‘automatically’ modify my practice ‘styles’ according to who’s in the room and the purpose of a situation, such as a meeting. I now have terminology to more consciously name what I’m doing, which is beneficial, as it enables me to be consciously purposeful and to apply new strategies and techniques (which I’m hoping to learn in the next session).

Be mindful of cultural differences and not take things personally – Better understanding of peoples thoughts – Stop and think about others cultures –

Over the past 23 years, we have worked with culturally diverse leaders, managers, and professional staff from a range of organisations within High Tech Industry. We assist in becoming more attuned to the requirements of working in culturally diverse teams: creating cultural awareness, building on cultural knowhow, practicing interpersonal and intercultural skills, intercultural strategies and developing cultural competence.


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